Pittsworth, Queensland

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Tattersalls Club Hotel, Pittsworth.jpg
Tattersalls Club Hotel, Pittsworth, 2011
Pittsworth is located in Queensland
Coordinates 27°43′S 151°38′E / 27.717°S 151.633°E / -27.717; 151.633Coordinates: 27°43′S 151°38′E / 27.717°S 151.633°E / -27.717; 151.633
Population 5,503 (2013)[1]
Established 1876
Postcode(s) 4356
Elevation 519[2] m (1,703 ft)
LGA(s) Toowoomba Region
State electorate(s) Condamine
Federal Division(s) Maranoa
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
24.2 °C
76 °F
11.5 °C
53 °F
700.6 mm
27.6 in
Localities around Pittsworth:
Springside Stoneleigh Linthorpe
Yarranlea Pittsworth Broxburn
Scrubby Mountain North Branch Felton

Pittsworth is a town and locality in Toowoomba Region, Queensland, Australia.[3][4] The Toowoomba Regional Council reported the population of Pittsworth was 5503 in 2013.[1]


Pittsworth township is 169 kilometres (105 mi) south-west of Brisbane via the Warrego Highway, 41 kilometres (25 mi) south-west of Toowoomba and is a service centre for the surrounding agricultural area. It is situated on the basalt upland section of the Darling Downs of southern Queensland which is undulating in nature and hosts mixed farming and intensive animal industries. Nearby is an alluvial flood plain, mostly leading directly to the North Branch of the Condamine River. This flood plain provides some of the best quality grains and cotton in Australia and utilises overland flood flows for irrigation purposes. Climate of the Pittsworth district is temperate with large variations between summer and winter due to it being some 150 kilometres (93 mi) inland and 520 metres above sea level. Average rainfall for Pittsworth is 695 mm per annum, with the higher falls occurring in the summer months.


The Grand Hotel at Pittsworth, c. 1903
Crowd attending Pittsworth Races, ca. 1912

Situated on the Darling Downs, Pittsworth owes its existence to that great explorer and botanist Allan Cunningham who in early June 1827 discovered and named the area around Warwick and to the north, the Darling Downs. It was not until 1840 that the Leslie Brothers arrived on the Darling Downs with stock for pastoral settlement and on the second arrival camped on the banks of the Condamine River close to which is now Leslie Crossing.

Early settlement was driven by the taking up of land for the Beauaraba pastoral station. Pittsworth grew up around a wayside hotel, named the Beauaraba, which attracted itinerant rural workers and local landholders.[5] The town was originally known as Beauaraba but the name was changed in 1915 in honour of a prominent local family who took up land at Goombungee in 1854. However, contemporary gazettes record 'Pittsworth, formerly Beauarba' as early as 1903,[5] and newspaper articles about the town refer to it as Pittsworth from the late 19th century onwards.[6][7] An 1887 newspaper article discussing the district is titled. Pittsworth (late Beuaraba).[8]

Beauaraba Post Office opened on 1 November 1882 (a receiving office had been open from 1880). It was renamed Pittsworth in 1886.[9] The hotel and surrounding land was taken over by the Lindenberg family in the early 1940s and was converted into a vintage auto museum which, by the 1960s became the largest of its kind in the southern hemisphere.

After a number of years of pastoral settlement, the town was established and slowly grew to offer services for the surrounding agricultural industries. The European settlement of the area was greatly aided by the arrival of the railway in 1887[10] and the transition from large to smaller holdings and from sheep to dairy farming. The Co-operative Dairy Company opened in 1896.[11] It was noted by the correspondent for the Darling Downs Gazette that "the milk brought by the suppliers is of a very high quality, comparing favourably with the highest tests in the colony. The cheese turned out of this factory, I may state, is of excellent quality, and is finding a ready market throughout many of the Northern towns."[11]

By 1914 Pittsworth had a number of dairy factories which were producing about 80 per cent of all the cheese being manufactured on the Darling Downs.[12] In 1923, the Pittsworth Dairy Company made a single block of cheddar cheese weighing 3360 lb which was shipped to the Queensland exhibit at the Empire Exhibition at Wembley Park.[13][14] The same company exceeded its ownefforts in 1925, exhibiting a single cheese that was 4000lb, becoming the World Record holder for the largest sigle block of cheese.[14]

Pittsworth State School was established in 1882.[15] At the 50th anniversary celebrations in 1932, "there was a large attendance, and 50 or more trees were planted. Mr. W. P. Adam, who for 14 years was head teacher of the school, but is now retired, called the roll of the school of 50 years ago, and the following-answered "present":—-Percy Cornford, William Carter. J. Muir, W. Muir, a Kirkup, and Mrs. J. Oarliach."[16] The school celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1982 with the publication of a history of the school.[15] In 2016 there were 315 students from Prep to year 6 enrolled.[17]

Pittsworth was declared a local authority in 24 April 1913, separating from Jondaryan.[18] The first council meeting was held at the Lyceum Hall Pittsworth on 9 July 1913,[18] where W.P. Copp was elected chairman.[18] Mr W O'Hara appointed as acting council clerk, and at the first meeting there were discussions regarding acquiring a site for the new shire office and the appointment of a foreman of works, plus the rate for all three divisions.[19] A new council office and hall was constructed in 1914 at a cost of £766.[18] Pittsworth township remained the administrative centre of the Pittsworth Shire until 15 March 2008, when the Pittsworth Shire amalgamated with eight other shires as part of the Toowoomba Regional Council.[20]

The Pittsworth Branch of the Queensland Country Women's Association opened in 1924.[21] At the meeting held in the Masonic Hall to consider opening a branch in Pittsworth, the Darling Downs organiser, Mrs. Fairfax, explained that, "that the main object of members was to work for their sisters that were less fortunate than themselves, and spoke of the benefits of the reduced railway fares, the education of children out back, the homes at the seaside, and the bush nurses, and various other branches of work that is handled by the Association."[22] The first President was Mrs. H.C. Hodgson.[22] The Beuaraba Branch still meets in Pittsworth at the Uniting Church Hall, Briggs Street.[23]

In May 1930,[24] a Soldiers Memorial School of Arts was officially opened.[5]

On 7 January 2016, around 2:30 am, a fire broke out at Pittsworth's iconic Tattersalls Club Hotel, which was built about 1900. One person died in the fire. The hotel was engulfed by flames by the time fire crews arrived, and was unable to be saved.[25]

Flower show in the Assembly Hall, Pittsworth, ca. 1915.

Pittsworth today remains as a service centre to local agricultural enterprises and has a small manufacturing base.

Heritage listings[edit]

Pittsworth has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:


Climate data for Pittsworth
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 39.5
Average high °C (°F) 29.9
Average low °C (°F) 17.0
Record low °C (°F) 11.1
Average rainfall mm (inches) 92.8
Average rainy days (≥ 0.2mm) 7.9 7.2 6.8 4.6 4.9 5.5 5.3 4.7 5.2 6.8 7.3 8.3 74.5
Source: Bureau of Meteorology[27]


The town has two primary schools: Pittsworth State School,[28][29] St Stephen's School [30] and a state high school, Pittsworth State High School.[31]

Pittsworth State School is a government co-educational primary (K-6) school at 42 Hume Street. In 2015, the school had an enrolment of 322 students with 24 teachers (20 full-time equivalent) and 16 non-teaching staff (10 full-time equivalent).[32]

St Stephen's Catholic Primary School is a Roman Catholic co-educational primary (P-6) school at 22 Murray Street. In 2014, it had an enrolment of 126 students in P-7 classes with 9 teachers (8.4 full-time equivalent) and 8 non-teaching staff (3.3 full-time equivalent).[33]

Pittsworth State High School is a government co-educational secondary (7-12) school in Factory Street. In 2015, it had an enrolment of 469 students with 48 teachers (45 full-time equivalent) and 27 non-teaching staff (19 full-time equivalent).[34]


An important attraction in the town is the Pittsworth & District Historical Society Folk Museum. This interesting and well-presented complex is on the outskirts of town. The Pittsworth Museum combines a fine collection of old buildings – the former Pittsworth Post Office, the telephone exchange, the post masters residence, the former one teacher school, a fully furnished cottage (circa 1900) and a blacksmith shop[35] – with some historical memorabilia. Items include a chantilly lace wrap which once belonged to Florence Nightingale, a love letter written by Governor Bligh's mother, and an outdoor display of carts and farm equipment. The museum is also home to a display of memorabilia boasting the feats of Arthur Postle, known as the "Crimson Flash",[36] Australia and the world's one time fastest athlete.[37] In 1906, Postle was proclaimed 'the champion of the world' when he won the 220 yards World Championship Cup.[38]

In the main street the ANZ Bank (1905) and adjacent buildings are of interest.

St Stephens Catholic Church is a large red-brick Catholic church in Pittsworth, and the parish incorporates the communities of Pittsworth, Southbrook and Mt. Tyson.[39] The foundation stone of the church in Pittsworth was laid in 1908.[39] The church was opened 12 December 1909.[40]

St. Andrew's Anglican Church is on the corner of Murray and Hume Streets. The foundation stone of the present church was laid on 3 November 1912, and the building was consecrated on 7 October 1913.[41][42] It replaced an earlier building designed by the prominent Toowoomba architect John Marks in 1888-89.[41]

The annual Pittsworth Sprints is two days of car sprints against the clock on a set course around the Pittsworth Industrial Estate.[43] The event attracts racers from all around Australia.

The Pittsworth Show is held every year in March [44] and has been an important regional event for more than 100 years.[45] The first show was held in March 1902, and opened by the Lieutenant-Governor, Sir Samuel Griffith, and attended by an estimated 2500 people.[46]


The Pittsworth Library is operated by the Toowoomba Regional Council. The library is located on Yandilla Street and is open seven days.[47] Pittsworth parkrun is a weekly, free, timed, 5 kilometre run held at 7am every Saturday at the Pittsworth show grounds on Railway Street.[48] The Pittsworth Aquatic Center Pool operates in the Summer from October – April every year.


  • Pittsworth FM 87.6 was launched in 2008 to serve the local Pittsworth area. It is a narrowcast station with an easy listening and country music format. It was previously known as Double 8FM in 2007.[49]
  • The Pittsworth Sentinel is Pittsworth's weekly newspaper, published and released every Wednesday.

Notable people[edit]



  1. ^ a b "Toowoomba Region Economic Profile April 2014". Toowoomba Regional Council. Retrieved 7 March 2015. 
  2. ^ "South Western System Appendix H: Altitudes" (PDF). Queensland Rail. 1 September 2005. p. 101. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 March 2015. Retrieved 27 October 2014. 
  3. ^ "Pittsworth - town (entry 27017)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 29 January 2017. 
  4. ^ "Pittsworth - locality (entry 48040)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 29 January 2017. 
  5. ^ a b c "Pittsworth | Queensland Places". queenslandplaces.com.au. Retrieved 2017-01-28. 
  6. ^ "LOCAL AND GENERAL NEWS". Toowoomba Chronicle and Darling Downs General Advertiser (5753). Queensland. 15 November 1898. p. 2. Retrieved 29 January 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  7. ^ "REPURCHASE OF BEAUARBA". Darling Downs Gazette. XL (9,370). Queensland, Australia. 15 August 1898. p. 3. Retrieved 29 January 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  8. ^ "District News". Darling Downs Gazette. Queensland. 19 March 1887. p. 3. Retrieved 30 January 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  9. ^ Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Premier Postal Auctions. Retrieved 10 May 2014. 
  10. ^ "[?]ing of the Railway to Pittsworth". Darling Downs Gazette. Queensland. 21 September 1887. p. 3. Retrieved 30 January 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  11. ^ a b "PITTSWORTH". Darling Downs Gazette. Queensland. 15 July 1896. p. 5. Retrieved 30 January 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  12. ^ Camm, Jack Charles Robert (1974). "Dairying on the Darling Downs, 1890-1914: a study of agricultural success". Queensland Heritage. 2, 10: 10–16. 
  13. ^ "GIGANTIC CHEESE". The Daily Mail. Brisbane. 27 October 1923. p. 8. Retrieved 30 January 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  14. ^ a b "MAMMOTH CHEESE". The Week. Brisbane. 20 March 1925. p. 7. Retrieved 30 January 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  15. ^ a b Pittsworth State Primary School (1982), Pittsworth State School, 1882-1982, Pittsworth State Primary School, retrieved 29 January 2017 
  16. ^ "NEWS OF THE WEEK". The Queenslander. Queensland, Australia. 12 May 1932. p. 17. Retrieved 29 January 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  17. ^ "Pittsworth State School". pittsworthss.eq.edu.au. Retrieved 2017-01-29. 
  18. ^ a b c d "THE BIRTH OF A SHIRE". Pittsworth Sentinel. 49. Queensland, Australia. 14 June 1949. p. 2. Retrieved 29 January 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  19. ^ "Pittsworth Council history". 2017-01-28. Archived from the original on 28 January 2017. Retrieved 2017-01-28. 
  20. ^ "Amalgamation". 2017-01-28. Archived from the original on 28 January 2017. Retrieved 2017-01-28. 
  21. ^ Worley, Mary (1949), Souvenir booklet of the Pittsworth Branch Q.C.W.A. silver jubilee 1924-1949, Pittsworth Branch, retrieved 30 January 2017 
  22. ^ a b "Country Women's Association". Pittsworth Sentinel. Queensland. 27 August 1924. p. 2. Retrieved 30 January 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  23. ^ "QCWA". QCWA. Retrieved 2017-01-30. 
  24. ^ "Memorial School of Arts". Pittsworth Sentinel. Queensland. 14 May 1930. p. 2. Retrieved 29 January 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  25. ^ "Brisbane man, 26, confirmed dead in pub fire at Pittsworth on Queensland's Darling Downs – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". 2017-01-28. Archived from the original on 28 January 2017. Retrieved 2017-01-28. 
  26. ^ "Pittsworth Shire Council Chambers and Shire Hall (former) (entry 601916)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 15 July 2013. 
  27. ^ "Pittsworth". Climate statistics for Australian locations. Bureau of Meteorology. March 2013. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  28. ^ "Pittsworth SS". Retrieved 29 January 2017. 
  29. ^ "Schools opening dates". Retrieved 29 January 2017. 
  30. ^ "Pittsworth Catholic School". Retrieved 29 January 2017. 
  31. ^ "Pittsworth SHS". Retrieved 29 January 2017. 
  32. ^ "2015 School Annual Report" (PDF). Pittsworth State School. Retrieved 29 January 2017. 
  33. ^ "2014 Annual Report" (PDF). St Stephen's Catholic Primary School. Retrieved 29 January 2017. 
  34. ^ "2015 School Annual Report" (PDF). Pittsworth State High School. Archived (PDF) from the original on 29 January 2017. Retrieved 29 January 2017. 
  35. ^ "Pittsworth Historical Pioneer Village and Museum, Pittsworth – Southern QLD Country". 2017-01-29. Archived from the original on 29 January 2017. Retrieved 2017-01-29. 
  36. ^ "POSTLE DEFEATS DONALDSON". The Referee. Sydney. 27 March 1912. p. 1. Retrieved 29 January 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  37. ^ "Pittsworth pioneer historical village". Toowoomba Region. Retrieved 2017-01-29. 
  38. ^ "ARTHUR POSTLE OF PITTSWORTH". Darling Downs Gazette. Queensland. 22 March 1909. p. 5. Retrieved 29 January 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  39. ^ a b "St Stephen's Parish, Pittsworth ~ Catholic Diocese of Toowoomba". 2017-01-29. Archived from the original on 29 January 2017. Retrieved 2017-01-29. 
  40. ^ "NEW ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH". The Brisbane Courier. 13 December 1909. p. 6. Retrieved 29 January 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  41. ^ a b "St Andrew's Anglican Church cnr Murray & Hume Streets, Pittsworth". www.ohta.org.au. Retrieved 2017-01-29. 
  42. ^ "THE WEEK AT A GLANCE". The Queenslander (2481). 18 October 1913. p. 9. Retrieved 29 January 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  43. ^ "Pittsworth Sprints". Pittsworth Sprints. 2017. Retrieved 28 January 2017. 
  44. ^ "Pittsworth Show Society". Pittsworth Show Society. Retrieved 2017-01-28. 
  45. ^ "Pittsworth". 2017-01-28. Archived from the original on 28 January 2017. Retrieved 2017-01-28. 
  46. ^ "THE PITTSWORTH SHOW". Toowoomba Chronicle and Darling Downs General Advertiser (6248). Queensland. 1 March 1902. p. 6. Retrieved 29 January 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  47. ^ "TRC Pittsworth Library". Retrieved 24 October 2014. 
  48. ^ "Pittsworth parkrun | Pittsworth parkrun". www.parkrun.com.au. Retrieved 19 September 2015. 
  49. ^ PittsworthFM (2016-04-04). "Pittsworth 87.6 FM". Pittsworth 87.6 FM. Retrieved 2017-01-28. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Pittsworth, Queensland at Wikimedia Commons